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Today, the majority of engineering project managers present an inefficient role in the ability to activate the value delivery landscape, minimize the project’s risks, control the project’s costs, improve the project’s speed, increase the project’s value, and resolving on time the engineering issues related to interface and integration. This inefficiency is due not only to the impact of the technological disruption but because they lack the skills to understand the value of the delivery landscape and also because they lack to introduce practical skills in strategic advising, innovation, communication, big thinking, project ownership, change management, and versatile engineering management.
Additionally, today’s engineering project managers cannot bring a potent combination of technical and project management skills, leadership skills, and strategic and business management skills.
The engineering project manager does not keep pace with technology, especially today, where the 4th IR emphasizes every aspect of digital transformation and impacts every part of engineering work. When discussing digital skills, we often think of computer-oriented tasks such as coding or using software skills effectively. But building a genuinely digital skill set that enables success in today’s digital environment requires the combination of the following six digital age skills:
(1) Data Science Skills (Data Analytics);
(2) Innovative Mindset;
(3) Security and Privacy Knowledge;
(4) Legal and Regulatory Compliance Knowledge;
(5) Ability to make Data Driven Decisions;
(6) Collaborative Leadership Skills.
Considering the latest research reports, the change in engineering management will be omnipotent because of the 4th IR. There will be a big focus on engineering and technical skills to deliver digital transformation projects.
Specifically, the role of technology considering the implementation of job automation will be a lot of “routine” and “repetitive” activities (i.e., reporting, data collection, and analysis), which means that it will not be anymore the domain of the engineering manager. Instead, this digital revolution will liberate the engineering manager to focus on high-value and more “human tasks” such as cognitive reasoning and engineering problem-solving.